Pizza Classico

I’ve been in two minds about talking about this place. Not because it’s in Old Kent Road and it’s therefore not really Greenwich – I’m happy enough at other times to talk about things I like that don’t really count – but because not everyone can get it.

Let’s start with the problem – piss-poor pizzas in Greenwich. It comes to something when you have dozens of fast food joints and the best of a very bad bunch is Dominoes. They are all much the same quality, whichever nasty joint you choose – muffy, flabby bases with grizzled toppings just about clinging on for dear life. Ghastly ‘sauces’ given away as extras don’t make up for decent flavour in the first place.

If just one proper, wood-fired place started up in Greenwich, doing crispy, thin-crust pizzas with flavoursome toppings, they’d clean up, but they all seem to be happy with just being the same as each other.

I was recommended Pizza Classico by someone on here (I can’t remember who, but thank you) and then some friends of mine had a pizza delivered that they raved about. They live in Westcombe Park and had to plead over the phone to get a delivery to SE3, which isn’t in Pizza Classico’s catchment area, but, since it was a Monday, the guys there took pity on them. The delivery took a little time, and when it arrived, it needed popping in the oven to crisp up a bit, but the resulting flavour and the thinness of the crust made it all worthwhile.

My friends were so impressed with the pizzas that they invited me round for second helpings a couple of Saturdays ago. We met in the beer garden at the Brewery, and decided to call up and order before heading home as it does take time. But this time, Pizza Classico were having none of that SE3 business. I sat listening to the pathetic pleas of a desperate man as he tried to persuade them that Westcombe Park is actually closer to Old Kent Road than some of SE10, which is in the catchment area (you can even order online if you’re in real Greenwich…) but no deal. We ended up getting a very-serviceable-indeed curry from Mehak – which, let’s face it, is never a bad choice.

Since it was no good to them, my pals gave me the Pizza Classico flyer and a couple of days later I gingerly tried the online ordering system, fully expecting to be rejected – after all, Old Kent Road IS a long way for a pizza to come.

But come it did. I’d taken the precaution of heating up the oven, just to crisp it up from the journey (it wouldn’t matter how long you put most of the local pizzas in the oven; they’d always be floppy and soggy) and I can’t say it arrived in super-quick time.

The flavour IS worth waiting for. If you’re a little wary of spiciness, give anything that’s labelled ‘hot’ a wide berth – they really mean it, but generally, the toppings are interesting, fresh and very,very tasty.

I’ll be honest. If a proper pizza delivery place opened around here, I wouldn’t be ordering from Pizza Classico (of course they’re welcome to open a sister business round here whenever they like as far as I’m concerned.) Food from there does need a spot of tlc when it arrives. But until a comparable pizza joint does open round here, as long as you live in SE10 or have a mate in Greenwich who can take pity on you, Pizza Classico will fill the hungry gap.

I ordered via Just Eat which was perfectly serviceable.


15 Comments to “Pizza Classico”

  1. Penny Lane says:

    Has anyone tried Pizza Castellano in Bermondsey? Is it the same restaurant as the highly acclaimed one at the Elephant and Castle.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Has the Phantom no idea how to cook? ;-)

    Pizza is a way for restauranters/take-aways to charge a lot of money for selling a type of bread.

    Pizza is leavened bread, tomato sauce and a bit of cheese. Anyone can make it, even in a domestic oven with a bit of practice!

  3. Old China says:

    I remember liking Pizza Express down in Greenwich but I'm not sure they deliver. Apart from that you're right, the places that deliver pizza are sat in with the places that do fried chicken and fries i.e. places I will never, ever eat from.

    I must admit I've not eaten pizza in a restaurant or had one delivered for a few years, since I discovered how easy it is to make your own. I always have pizza base mix in the cupboard, so I just have to pick up any toppings I want on the way home. You get pizzas that are ten times better and a fifth of the price of those delivered!

  4. Paul says:

    Pizza Castellano in Bermondsey was opened by a former partner of Pizza Castello, but has apparently changed hands since – so no connection, altho they might have kept a few of their classics. Yes, Pizza Castello is much missed.

    I don't mind Pizza Express, purely for the view of St Alfege, but like old china I reckon it's one of life's basic pleasures to make pizza bases from scratch – an easy knack to acquire once you've had a few goes, and you'll never have to phone up for one again.

    The other knack I'd love to master is to somehow stem the flow of garishly-coloured pizza leaflets thru my letter box.

  5. The Phantom Webmaster says:

    (Testing.)

  6. Anonymous says:

    I too am a home made pizza fan, living not 3 minutes walk from a domino's (and the students next door get theirs delivered, its about 4 times as far by road for the delivery bike).
    I use my breadmaker (or the recipe when that in use making bread) and mix up a batch of dough, it takes about 10 minutes to knock up the dough, half an hour in a warm place for it to rise, then split a loafs worthy of dough into 3 and its a pizza each for the family.
    we use rectangular baking trays with those silicon paper inserts (non stick trays would work as well) and our 12"x18" pizzas are great. roll the bread dough out to size with a rolling pin (no fancy flinging the dough round the kitchen for me, put it in the tray, squishing it to the edges roughly, then a jar of cheap bolognaise sauce (if you are being lazy) and all the cheese and toppings you could want, then just throw them in the oven – they take about 20 minutes to be perfect, a bit longer with 3 as you have to rotate them round the shelves so that they each get a bit of heat from the electric element (no gas oven here) we always start with half a pizza each, which would be plenty really, but occasionally the other half dissapears too, or you can save it as you would a takeaway one for breakfast in the morning.
    Peter

  7. Mazehiller says:

    I used to go to Zero Degrees in Blackheath (when I lived over that side of the heath) and it does decent pizza with interesting toppings – shame they don't deliver. Thanks Phantom, will try your recommendation. Also, Mehak is the best curry delivery (up to an hour but worth the wait)I have found so far.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I recommend the semi-homemade route. Buy a garlic flatbread from Waitrose, smear tomato paste on it, top it with buffalo mozarella, fresh tomatoes, olives, salami, capers, anchovies. Drizzle with olive oil and stick it in a pre-heated hot oven for about 8-10 minutes. Sprinkle with oregano or basil. Enjoy with Meantime beer. Better and faster than any takeaway.

  9. Old China says:

    I even went so far as to buy a "pizza stone" to cook my pizzas on (it's just a round, dense piece of ceramic that gets very hot and crisps the base up nicely). I usually have a packet or two of dried mushrooms in the cupboard and they make a great topping when re-hydrated.

    Zero degrees does a great red onion and creamy garlic pizza if I recall. Might have to go and see if they still do it soon. Or try to recreate it.

  10. Sunay Modesto Khan says:

    Chicago-town microwave mini pizzas sprinkled with laudanum.

    a glass of absinthe.

    eighties movies on slightly chewed videotapes.

    get in.

  11. Dennis says:

    You need to learn to make pizza dough. It's easy and, once made, it keeps in the fridge for a week, all ready for action.

    Ordinarily this would probably count as blog spam, but, since this pizza dough recipe was developed, and continues to be made, right here in SE10, I offer this…

    http://driedbasil.wordpress.com/2010/04/11/pizza/

    …as the solution to the Phantom Pizza Woes.

  12. glenngillen says:

    Aha! It seems the move across The Heath from SE3 to SE13 may have been worthwhile after all! Thanks for the tip off

  13. Anonymous says:

    I have tried pizza Classico via just eat twice now and both times were diastrous

  14. Sue says:

    I hadn't heard of Mehak so I googled it. Even though it is in Virginia, I wonder if the Phantom's friend could negotiate a home delivery for me?
    Oh wait a minute it's not the one in the USA, it's in Trafalgar Road!Thanks for the tip.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Proper pizza needs extreme heat which cannot be generated by a domestic oven – about 300/350 degrees, only achievable in a professional oven, preferably wood-fired. That's the way pizzerias make it in Italy, and incidentally Italians (who should know) never make pizza at home.

    Making 'pizza' at home is fun and the result can be ok (as long as you don't put bolognese sauce on top!). But it's nothing like the real thing.

    Of course restaurants apply nice fat margins on a lot of things, but in the case of pizza you should consider not just the ingredients but the cost of running that sort of oven.

    Zerodegrees have a wood-fired oven and as someone said, their pizzas aren't bad. I think this week's TimeOut has a feature about best pizzas in London, but I wouldn't hold my breath to see if they have ventured to SE London in their search.